Well, it’s been a long time on the needles – and even longer in the knitting bag waiting for the finishing touches – but it’s finally done and dusted and I’m wearing it as I type!
Here it is at a rather chilly beach excursion at the weekend (yes, I did grab my coat out of the car straight after this shot was fired off before heading off to hunt for beach treasure with the boys…)
It involved a few ‘firsts’ for me… My first sweater knit using Elizabeth Zimmerman’s ‘Percentage System’ (or EPS) whereby gauge is everything (scary enough in itself!) as the whole pattern is based on a chest measurement calculated using gauge and the amount of ‘ease’ required. There was a certain amount of guesswork, finger crossing and blind terror but overall I am very happy with the fit. It’s slouchy without being baggy which was my main aim. If I were to knit it again I might make the sleeves longer though. I was convinced, even after trying on the first sleeve that they were almost too long but somehow they now have a tendancy to ride up above my wrist. Hey ho!
The other major ‘first’ was the steeked front opening! Yep, I took to my sweater with a pair of sharp scissors to turn it into a cardigan. Why? Well, I wanted to use EZ’s system with as few alterations as possible and it just seemed like the best way to do it! It really wasn’t as terrifying as it could have been either. I first crocheted two chains from neck edge to hem to create a ‘channel’ 3 stitches wide and then, mainly because the yarn was Superwash so not very sticky, I machine stitched just inside the crochet chains to reinforce the cut edge. Then… scissors! Slowly and straight down the centre of the middle stitch. Picking up the button band the other side of the crochet chains meant I had a nice edge to catch over with a little blanket stitch all the way down which nicely hid the ends that I would otherwise have had to sew in at the hem edge and neck edge too. All in all a very nice way to finish a cardigan opening.
I even found the perfect little dark brown shell buttons in my local haberdashery store.
I used 4 skeins of Regia 4ply sock yarn in ‘Flannel’ and just over 1 skein of Old Maiden Aunt Merino Sock in ‘Midnight Owl’ (around 320g in total I think). The combination of wonderous handpainted yarn and cheap-as-chips Regia worked really well, both aesthetically and financially! It was a really satisfying way of using the Old Maiden Aunt yarn as I couldn’t have afforded a cardigan’s worth of that alone…
I am very very pleased with *my* Chipmunk, inspired by a beautiful project on Ravelry. I am on this occasion, happy to be a mere imitator…